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PHILADELPHIA CAR ACCIDENT LAWYER

Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer

philadelphia car accident lawyer

Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer John Fox speaks about his career as a top rated car accident lawyer in Philadelphia and throughout the United States.

WHAT SETS US APART FROM ANOTHER PHILADELPHIA CAR ACCIDENT LAWYER?

Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer John Fox brings with him a career as a top rated trucking defense trial attorney handling catastrophic multi-vehicle accidents throughout the United States. John Fox has vast experience handling car accidents both inside and outside of the courtroom. He is an expert in handling the most complicated vehicle accidents involving multiple victims and multiple attorneys. This is a skill in which only a few attorneys throughout the country have the expertise to handle skillfully and a very distinct advantage for our clients.

A year a half ago I was in a pretty bad car accident. I suffered some injuries and mentally I was unrecognizable. Luckily I came across John Fox, call it a blessing, luck, I’m grateful I found him. From the very start his concern was always my well-being. I was beyond traumatized and he made calls to me often, spending time talking to me about staying strong and getting through this. He was also well informed in the many areas a car accident effects. It would take pages to lay out the specifics of my case, but I’ll say this, Mr. Fox is a good man with top notch ethics. In my situation there were factors that were more important than money and he honored every one of my wishes.

To me the key factor is this, take away all I’ve said and my opinion and look at this one fact. His first 20 years as a lawyer he represented the insurance companies. So this is a guy who knows how they work, the tricks they play, the moves they make to save money. It was apparent in my situation that he had a great advantage which means his I had a great advantage.

I know this is getting lengthy but there’s a couple of other things that you should consider. I had to fly in to Philly from another state for my mediation/settlement negotiations. Who was there to pick me up at the airport? John Fox. He took me to a nice hotel and also took me back to the airport on his own time. That’s the type of person he is. Most guys on his level would have sent a secretary or someone else to pick me up. It meant a lot to me during such stressful times.

Also, as far as my settlement went, he exceeded expectations, not because of my case, but because he was very proactive in the process and took the lead with all the attorneys involved. (Multiple victims) He got it done. If you need legal help and don’t know where to turn, trust me, get this guy, you won’t be disappointed.”  ~Jake

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 CAR ACCIDENT LAWSUIT OVERVIEWPhiladelphia Car Accident Lawyer

Pennsylvania is a “no fault” state. This means that if you own a car and have insurance in Pennsylvania, your insurance company is primarily responsible for your medical bills. This is called PIP or Personal Injury Protection. Your insurance company pays your medical bills whether it is your fault or not. If you are making a claim for pain and suffering, that claim is asserted against the insurance company for the at-fault driver. Your own insurance company does not pay for pain and suffering unless it is an uninsured or under-insured motorist claim under your own policy.

CAR ACCIDENTS INVOLVING OUT OF STATE DRIVERS

In the case of car accidents involving out of state drivers, generally speaking, if you are an out-of-state driver with insurance, your insurance company is still responsible to pay your medical bills under the PIP provisions of your policy. And if you are an out-of-state driver involved in an accident with a Pennsylvania driver, you will be most likely deemed full tort regardless of your injuries or insurance policy. This means that you do not have to have “a serious impairment of bodily function” to make a claim for your injuries.

CAR ACCIDENTS INVOLVING INJURED PASSENGERS

If you are a passenger in a car and you or a relative you live with has car insurance, your recovery will be controlled by the option elected under the policy of full tort or limited tort.

If you are a passenger in a car and you do not have car insurance or live with a relative who has car insurance, you will be considered full tort. This means that you can make a claim for personal injury that does not require a serious impairment of bodily function. In this case, you will qualify under the car owner’s policy for medical (PIP) coverage.

COMPARATIVE NEGLIGENCE: WHAT IF I AM PARTIALLY AT FAULT FOR A CAR ACCIDENT?

Pennsylvania and New Jersey law allows you to recover for damages in a car accident as long as you are 50% or less responsible. In other words, if you are found to be 50% at fault for a car accident and the other driver is found to be 50% responsible, you can still recover for damages. This is known as Comparative Negligence. There is no formula for arriving at a precise number for a person’s comparative negligence. If you are found to be comparatively negligent, your settlement or award will be adjusted based on the percentage of negligence. In the case of comparative negligence, an experienced Philadelphia car accident lawyer will negotiate your settlement with an insurance adjuster or possibly argue your case to a jury at trial.

7 DO’S & DON’TS IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING A CAR ACCIDENTPhiladelphia Car Accident Lawyer

  1. DO be careful what you say to EMT’s or police regarding how the accident happened.
  2. DO seek Medical Treatment.
  3. DO tell your doctor EVERYTHING that is hurting you.
  4. DO be honest about your injuries.
  5. DO be honest about pre-existing injuries and prior medical conditions.
  6. DO NOT speak with an insurance company before speaking with your lawyer.
  7. DO keep a daily log of your injuries.

It is very important to be careful about making statements regarding how the accident happened. What you say to police or EMT’s following an accident may be used against you.

When you see a doctor, be truthful about your injuries and your prior medical conditions. Exacerbation of a pre-existing injury is compensible. Failure to disclose prior medical conditions, however, will hurt your credibility and your case.

Also, be sure to tell your doctor EVERYTHING that is hurting you as a result of the accident. It is impossible to know whether an injury will resolve or develop into something more serious over time. You may be focused on a pain that is initially more severe in one area of your body. However, that injury may heal over time and a lesser pain may prove to be a more serious injury.  Therefore, you must identify ALL of your aches and pains at your initial doctor visit, so that insurance companies will not question at a later date whether the injury was related to the accident.

It is also important to keep a daily log of your injuries to help you recall how you were feeling in the days, weeks, and months following your injury.

Philadelphia Car Accident LawyerMULTI-VEHICLE CAR ACCIDENTS

Multi-vehicle accidents involve a complicated chess match of litigation. When multi-vehicle accidents occur it can be very complicated. Catastrophic and fatal injuries often result from multi-vehicle accidents, especially if the accident occurs on a highway and tractor-trailers are involved.

Typically multi-vehicle accidents involve multiple injured parties. Numerous lawyers and insurance companies are involved. Each injured party involved is represented by his/her own lawyer, both defense and plaintiff’s. As a result, many lawyers are involved in the litigation and trial arena, some aligning themselves with others.  If the accident involves tractor-trailer trucks, trucking industry defense lawyers, who are highly experienced and skilled trial lawyers, also enter the arena of lawyers.

Determining fault in multi-vehicle accidents can be a daunting task. Multi-Vehicle Accidents always begin with an investigation to determine who started the chain reaction pile-up and why. After the determination is made with respect to how the pile-up first started, the car accidents and truck accidents are each separately analyzed and considered sub-accidents of the initial cause. Although the car in front is still the main cause of the accident, every individual car and truck involved in the accident is analyzed for its’ own actions and contribution to the pile-up. Multi-vehicle accidents that happen on interstates almost guaranteed that large tractor-trailers will be in the mix of vehicles involved in the accident. Unfortunately, when large tractor trailers are involved, tragic and catastrophic injuries usually follow.

PENNSYLVANIA CAR INSURANCE LAWSPhiladelphia Car Accident Lawyer

YOUR RIGHT TO RECOVER FOR INJURY

To be fully covered for a car accident in Pennsylvania, you need more than the mandatory Pennsylvania Car Insurance coverage required by law.  In addition to the mandatory Pennsylvania Car Insurance, you need to choose the optional full tort, the optional Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage, and the optional Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage.”  ~ Laura Fox, Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer

PENNSYLVANIA NO-FAULT LAW

Pennsylvania is a no-fault state with a choice-no-fault program.  Knowing your rights under the Pennsylvania No-Fault System will help you to be fairly compensated for your injury.

PERSONAL INJURY PROTECTION (PIP)

Under Pennsylvania’s no-fault system, a driver is compensated for injuries through his or her own insurance policy, regardless of who caused the accident. Pennsylvania medical benefits are covered by PIP Insurance. PIP covers the medical benefits for you and others included in your policy, regardless of fault.

PIP Insurance is required by all Pennsylvania drivers.  Pennsylvania drivers must carry PIP coverage, bodily injury liability coverage, and property damage liability coverage.  A minimum of $5,000 of PIP coverage is required in Pennsylvania.  Bodily injury liability pays for the medical and rehabilitation expenses of anyone injured in a car accident where you are at fault. The minimum limit is $15,000 per person/$30,000 per accident; the $15,000 pays for injuries to one person, while the $30,000 is the total available to all claimants for one accident. Property damage liability covers the cost of repairing or replacing property damages that you caused in an accident where you are at fault.  The minimum limit is $5000 of coverage. Unfortunately, PIP insurance may not be enough to cover your property damage, pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost wages from auto accidents.

UNINSURED MOTORISTS (UM) and UNDER-INSURED MOTORISTS (UIM) COVERAGE

If the at-fault driver has limited insurance or no insurance, your UM or UIM insurance will cover the additional amount of damage caused by the negligent driver.  Compensation through UM and UIM can be complicated and is best handled by an experienced Personal Injury attorney.

FULL TORT vs. LIMITED TORT OPTIONS

When choosing your car insurance coverage be sure you check optional “Full Tort” coverage. You will not regret it.”   John Fox, Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer

Under Pennsylvania’s choice-no-fault system, drivers can choose between two insurance options: full tort or limited tort.  With full tort, you can sue in court for all damages, including pain and suffering. With limited tort, you are able to recover all out-of-pocket medical and other expenses, but you cannot recover damages for pain and suffering.  There is an exception to this rule.  If the accident has resulted in “death, serious impairment of bodily function, or permanent serious disfigurement”, you may recover for pain and suffering, even with limited tort insurance.  Another exception is if you are involved in an accident with an out-of-state vehicle. Many drivers regret not purchasing full tort coverage, which costs only a few dollars more than limited tort.  Limited tort prevents injury victims from suing for pain and suffering if they do not fall within the exceptions.  Although limited tort does prove challenging in fully recovering for your injury, it is possible to receive substantial compensation within limited tort insurance.

INCOME LOSS PROTECTION

Income loss protection generally covers 80% of your gross income lost after the first 5 days of work are missed. If you do not carry income loss coverage, you may not be able to collect for your lost wages until your case is resolved through a settlement or trial.

The following chart highlights minimum insurance requirements in Pennsylvania and recommended coverage. This should not be considered legal advice as everyone is unique in their insurance needs. If you have any questions regarding your auto insurance coverage, contact your insurance agent.

STACKING

If you own more than one vehicle registered in Pennsylvania, stacking is permitted on your insurance policy. Stacking permits you to add together or “stack” the underinsured or uninsured coverage of each automobile.

REQUIRED VS RECOMMENDED CAR INSURANCE COVERAGE

BY A PHILADELPHIA CAR ACCIDENT LAWYER

Pennsylvania Car Insurance Coverage Options
OptionsMinimum RequiredMinimum Recommended
Tort OptionLimitedFull
Bodily Injury Liability$15,000 per person
$30,000 per occurrence
$100,000 per person
$300,000 per occurrence
Medical Expense Benefit$5,000$10,000
Property Damage Liability$5,000$25,000
Income LossNot Required$1,000 per month
$5,000 in total coverage
Uninsured MotoristNot Required$100,000 per person
$300,000 per occurrence
Underinsured MotoristNot Required$100,000 per person
$300,000 per occurrence
Stacking of Limits for Uninsured/Underinsured MotoristsNot RequiredChoosing stacking is essential to maximizing your family’s protection:
$100,000 x the number of vehicles in the household
Funeral BenefitNot Required$1,500

 PROPERTY DAMAGE CLAIMSPhiladelphia Car Accident Lawyer

If you were involved in a car accident and you were not hurt but you have a property damage claim you don’t need a Philadelphia Car Accident lawyer. You may have property damage insurance under your own policy, or the person who hit you may have property damage insurance.  In that situation, you can submit your claims to your insurance company or the at-fault person’s insurance company, and the insurance company may pay your claim. If there is no insurance coverage, then you will have to file a lawsuit in Small Claims Court.

CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION ON HOW TO HANDLE YOUR OWN SMALL CLAIM

WHAT IS CONSIDERED PROPERTY DAMAGE IN A CAR ACCIDENT?

Property damage covered by insurance companies is the difference between what your car was worth immediately before the accident and what it is worth immediately after the accident. You are also entitled to recover for the loss of use of your vehicle.

Property damage is determined by the cost of repairing the vehicle or the fair market value of the vehicle if it is determined to be totaled. Fair market value is usually determined by its Blue Book value.

The insurance company will decide whether the car will be repaired or totaled based upon the repair estimates. If repair estimates total more than 75% of your car’s Blue Book value, they will probably total your car. Today, estimates are usually done by the insurance adjuster. If the insurance company decides to repair the vehicle, you can arrange the work to be done at the repair shop of your choice. If the repair shop finds additional damage not identified in the original estimate, the repair shop will contact the adjuster for additional payment. The insurance company may require the use of after-market parts if they are of equal quality to the manufacturer parts.

The loss of the use of your vehicle is usually determined by the cost of renting a reasonable replacement, but the insurance company is not required to arrange a rental car for you. In that case, if you rent one yourself, you are entitled to recover that cost. Even if you don’t rent a car, you are still entitled to be compensated for loss of use.

HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO REPORT A CAR ACCIDENT?

Car accidents should be reported as soon as possible. Most insurance companies require that claims are made within a specified window of time after the accident, however these limits vary. If you are unsure of your policy requirements, contact your insurance agent.

Philadelphia Car Accident LawyerWHAT IS MY CASE WORTH?

In general, case value is determined by your injury, your economic loss, and liability.

The type of injury, how it affects your life, and whether your injury is permanent or resolves itself in a few months, will greatly influence the value of your case.  Therefore, case value can rarely be determined early on.  There are many unknown valuation factors that can only be developed over time, such as the correct diagnosis of the injuries and the length of treatment.

Medical bills, subrogation liens (Workman’s Compensation, Medicare, and Health Insurance), work loss, lost earning capacity, and future prognosis addressing daily living restrictions will also be considered in the valuation of your case.

Finally, liability is a major factor in determining the worth of your case. If you are found to be 50% comparatively negligent, you may still recover, however your case worth will be adjusted proportionately. All factors considered case worth can rarely be determined early on. Therefore, if a lawyer tells you what your case is worth following an initial consultation or within a short time period of the injury, be wary of their motives.

FOX LAW WELCOMES THE OPPORTUNITY TO REPRESENT YOU.

If you would like to discuss your case with Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer John Fox, please call 215-568-6868 for a Free Case Evaluation today.

We make a recovery for you or it’s free.”  ~John Fox, Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer

Fox Law, P.C.
100 North 18th Street, Suite #2030
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103
215-568-6868

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Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer

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Author 

John Fox has been a practicing AV Preeminent rated personal injury Lawyer since 1980. John Fox's litigation and trial experience encompasses trucking accidents with catastrophic injuries; automobile accidents; premises liability lawsuits; tanker truck accidents; environmental claims, national fraternity personal injury cases, medical malpractice, and business dispute litigation.

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